Page last updated at 14:13 GMT, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 15:13 UK

Meehan 'unaware of child images'

Stepfather Craig Meehan
Craig Meehan has pleaded not guilty to all charges

The former partner of Shannon Matthews' mother told police he had never seen the images of child abuse found on his computer, a court was told.

Craig Meehan, 22, is accused of having 134 indecent images on a computer at the home he shared with Karen Matthews in Dewsbury Moor, West Yorkshire.

Police found the images during their search for missing Shannon Matthews.

Judge Jonathan Bennett, sitting at Dewsbury Magistrates' court, heard Mr Meehan denied downloading the images.

On the second day of his trial, where he is accused of 11 charges of possessing indecent images of children relating to images on his computer and one on his mobile phone, the judge was read extracts of police interviews.

'Unaware of images'

During the interviews Mr Meehan was shown examples of some of the 133 allegedly indecent images found on his computer.

He told officers that he was "unaware of the images".

In a second interview detectives were told by Craig Meehan that he did not look for pornography on the internet.

Reading extracts from the police interview, prosecutor David Holderness said Mr Meehan claimed other people had access to the machine on which the images were found.

He also had said that children in the house were only ever allowed to use another computer.

Mr Meehan said Karen Matthews knew his password.

Second-hand computer

During the interviews the supermarket fishmonger continually denied seeing the images of children before he was shown them by police.

He said he used the machine for writing letters, downloading music and playing games.

Det Con Andrew James told the court the computer had been bought second-hand from the Brighthouse chain, but said the firm had only overwritten the operating system and not necessarily erased everything on the hard drive.

Mr James said none of the downloaded material appeared to have been accessed using a credit card.

The officer said the image found on the mobile phone was part of a batch of hundreds downloaded at the same time from the internet transferred using a Bluetooth connection to the mobile.

Under cross-examination the officer admitted that despite all the images being pornographic, only one was considered to be indecent in terms of child abuse.

The case continues.

Meehan denies child porn charges
08 Sep 08 |  Bradford

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